Mark Baugh-Sasaki was born and raised in San Francisco. Through out his childhood he had been exposed to nature and the natural environment. As he grew he became fascinated by its physicality and its roles in today’s culture. In 2000 he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attended Carnegie Mellon University. His stay in Pittsburgh completely transformed him as an artist and as a person. The relationship that the city had with the natural environment and the lasting effects the steel industry had on the landscape was completely engrossing. The land was transformed from old growth forests and pristine rivers to an industrial wasteland. His experiences watching this post-industrial landscape transform back into a habitable space changed is work. This relationship that he saw unfolding before him between the natural and industrial became a cornerstone to the development of his use of reclaimed wood, found stone, steel, and cast metal. His stay in Pittsburgh had made him more aware of his own environment and the relationships that surround him. Upon returning to San Francisco he continues his investigations and observations surrounding the intersection of the natural and human-made and his practice as a sculptor and installation artist.
As humans, we exist within an environment where our need to civilize and assimilate the natural world has created a new hybrid space, one where we exist within a land that is not purely wild nor is it entirely domesticated. This intersection between the natural and the man-made has caused new relationships, organisms, adaptations and conflicts for balance to emerge.
My work explores this shift in the natural world. I journey through this new hybrid setting exploring landscapes, recording observations and examining relationships within the environment. I combine my experiences and investigations with the use of industrial and natural materials and processes to create fantastical objects or environments that illustrate the changing systems, interactions, adaptations and altered landscapes within this new realm.
I want to make the viewer aware of the hybrid world we exist in and their connection to it.
Gravity, found wood, rope and residue from the creation of the work, 6'H x 14'W x 14'D, 2015, Installed at Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA